Leclerc Sees Norris F1 Battle as Fierce as Hamilton-Verstappen

Published 09/24/2021, 7:23 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Russian Grand Prix – FIA News conference – Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia – September 23, 2021 Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc during the press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES


The rivalry on the track this season has been immense. In what can easily be the most exciting season we’ve witnessed in a while, there are battles scattered all over the grid. From Max and Lewis leading the pack, to the acute midfield battle spearheaded by McLaren and Ferrari, and even the battle for position right at the back; the season has been far from boring. Charles Leclerc recognizes this and even collates his battle with that of the protagonists.

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Measuring the Ferrari-McLaren battle to the one further up the field, Leclerc believes the fight for points is just as salient. “They are fighting for the championship as we are fighting for our positions which are not the top ones in the championship.”

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Despite claiming their recent victory with Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren has been heavily reliant on Lando Norris for consistent points. Leclerc looks at the Brit as a strong competitor. “We also don’t give much margin whenever I’ve got Lando [Norris] or one of the McLarens with me.”

McLaren showed their strengths on the straights of Monza; they might have a fair chance of challenging the leaders at Sochi. Strategies, pit stops, and the duels on track have been just as exciting between Ferrari and McLaren as it has between Mercedes and Red Bull.

With only 13.5 points between the two, Leclerc added, “It’s the same for them fighting for the championship, if not even more.”

Charles Leclerc analyzes the championship battle

While McLaren and Ferrari contest behind the race leaders, Leclerc shared his thoughts on the championship battle. After yet another collision at the Italian GP, the Monegasque wouldn’t be surprised if it wasn’t the last.

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The Ferrari driver has had experience racing against both drivers. Hence, he boils down the intensity of their battles to their driving styles. “Max is a bit more on the aggressive side, Lewis a bit more on the clean side. It’s nice to be fighting with both of them.”

Formula One F1 – Monaco Grand Prix – Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco – May 20, 2021 Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during practice REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

Leclerc explained Lewis is very clear on how to position in his car to make it difficult on his competitor; Max is more combative. Nonetheless, he enjoys dueling with the latter more. “I enjoy racing with both, and if anything I quite like fighting with Max because it’s always really on the limit.”

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Leclerc is no stranger to leading the race, as we saw in Silverstone. Always putting up a compelling fight, Leclerc has played a crucial role in Ferrari’s contention with McLaren. With a key race ahead at Sochi and a disadvantaged start, will Leclerc be able to push through the field and bring home some critical points for the Prancing Horses?

Watch this story: Shortest F1 Drivers Ever Featuring Yuki Tsunoda & Lando Norris

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Shreya Sanjeev

447 articles

Shreya Sanjeev is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having attained a journalism degree from St Xavier's College, she finds comfort in the sound of her keyboard while typing and excitement in the sound of F1 cars speeding on a track. A street circuit and Daniel Ricciardo fan through and through, Shreya claims the 2018 Monaco GP to be one of her favorite races of all time.

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